Toshiba Attempts To Renege On World Cup Refund Promise

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News Posted: Thu, Jul 15 2010 8:02 PM
With the World Cup over and the sound of vuvuzelas thankfully fading away, you might think it's time for business as usual to begin again. Toshiba, however, appears hooked on the excitement, fun, and motonous buzzing a PR crisis can deliver. Back in early June, the company ran a series of ads in Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. The terms were (seemingly) simple:  Buy a Toshiba product prior to the end of the world cup, and if your team won it all, Toshiba would refund your purchase.


According to our crack team of translators, if Team Red wins, you win. Provided you used your Toshiba decoder ring to find the hidden information underneath the bathmat in your mother's apartment.

After Spain's victory, loyal Spaniards trooped over to Toshiba's website only to be slapped in the face. According to the company, there was a hidden stipulation to the contract. In order to collect on the deal, customers were required to register their purchases before June 17. If you consult the ad above, you might note that this particular clause is nowhere in sight. The blog entry states: "In addition, Toshiba also makes the time limit to claim the money, noting that all applications received after August 2 will be rejected and forced to submit original documents and confirming that only have one chance to claim (in fact recommend sending certified mail with delivery)."

Several sites are also claiming that the fine print spelling out the need for registration didn't even start appearing until after the registration date had passed.

If Toshiba continues with this absurd bait-and-switch it could find itself in trouble on two fronts. EU consumer laws tend to be tougher than their US counterparts and there's precious little sign of any good faith on Toshiba's part. Even if the EU never gets involved, this is the sort of situation that any of Toshiba's competitors could easily turn to its advantage. As we noted earlier, Asus and Toshiba are both in a struggle for fifth place in terms of global PC shipments—Asus would do well to consider offering jilted Toshiba customers a $100-$200 coupon off their next Asus purchase. 
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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 8:09 PM

This is mind-boggling. Did Toshiba think that no one would take them to court over this?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 8:41 PM

Maybe Toshiba was a big Netherlands supporter, and this is their way of being petulant.


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Inspector replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 9:28 PM

LOL, bet they were watching the game and were all just hoping Spain lost... the minute they won... Rush to the computers! change the fine print :P.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 10:21 PM

Oh Toshiba... I knew there was a reason I didn't like you....

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gibbersome replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 11:57 PM

I'm surprised they didn't offer this promotion in the US...seeing as how weak our team is, it would have been a safe bet.

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:55 AM

They thought no one in the US watched Soccer and even those who did would not have faith in their team lol

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realneil replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 9:52 AM

This is their payback for all of the bloatware they've installed on every laptop ever sold by them.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 11:46 AM

I remember when other than IBM (especially for business laptops) Toshiba was the way to go, then Dell started grabbing market share. Either way it is quite sad to see one of the old highly respected companies start playing these types of game. This particularly seems like a bad business decision all the way around to even offer something like this. I mean one of theses countries is very likely to win (Pre-offer), then everyone that registered is going to seek the reward (current status), and you are going to loose bottom line. The big screw up here other than the offer itself which seems like a definite loose loose to me, is now they are hurting themselves as a company because of it, making it a Loose/Loose/Loose! Who in the heck on the Toshiba promo board thought this one up? I think if it was me I would have transferred to a new company prior to the ending of the World Cup!

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 11:47 AM

Oh and realneil bloatware can be a a problem, but all you have to do is run something like Decrappifier and it is if not all gone very greatly diminished automatically. You then have a very musch smaller task at best of getting rid of it all.

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 3:24 PM

Well if they ran it in 5 Countries and this cause them to sell 10000 extra(over normal sales) laptops per country

That's 50,000 laptops. Lets say they make a profit of $200 per laptop. That's $10,000,000.

If the 10,000 laptops in the country that won average $1,000 per laptop, and they refunded all of them... they would break even. But given the fine print and confusion... probably only 10% actually registered... so they would still stand to make over $9 million in the deal.

The numbers are probably even more vast and more complex... but the general Idea is that they were going to stand to make some money no matter what.

I tend not to trust these kinds of deals anyway because there is always fine print. But in this case... the apparantly did not run the fine print... so they should be required to own up to it.

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All that money they saved from sending production to Singapor, should make up the difference :P

I am sure the Japanese worker is happy that the execs... must now commit Hari-Kari :P

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Toshiba makes the best value/quality laptops in the market right now so I'm not going to hate on them.

These screw-ups are the work of the PR people and publicists anyway (you know, the people who are willing to lie to sell stuff, people who are one wrung below lawyers as the most evil kind people in the world. lol) and nothing to do with the guys who make the hardware.

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 17 2010 4:51 PM

*edit*... wrong thread lol!

Anyway... I've never considered Toshiba a value brand... I've always seen them as being more expensive than the other brands. They make quality prodects yes... but there are other brands i'd rather stick with, personally.

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